Australian naked DSL guide

Naked DSL can be a useful and cheap way to connect a remote office or provide a backup WAN. Richard Chirgwin surveys the market to explain your options.

Rating Consumer Naked DSL Services
 
The great growth areas in the ADSL market has to be the growth of “Naked DSL” services, in which consumers give up their telephone connection and buy DSL over a “no PSTN service” copper connection.
From just a handful of providers offering Naked DSL services a year ago, there are now at least 26 providers – both owners of DSL infrastructure and resellers – now listing Naked DSL services.
There is, of course, an important consideration for the customer: what do you do about the telephone? Your options are (a) to do without a fixed line completely, and instead rely on the mobile; (b) to buy some variety of voice service from your ISP; or (c) to use a VoIP service provided by a third party. I’ll discuss this in greater detail later.
And as an example of just how quickly this market moves: after analysis was completed, Internode announced a reduced price for one of its services. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to incorporate the new plan in what is a moderately complex price model!
Where activation fees are given, these are included across three scenarios – a customer buying a “no contract” service, a 12-month contract, and a 24-month contract. In the case of the “no contract” service, I have assumed that the customer stays with a provider for 12 months for the purpose of including activation fees in the analysis. If there is a separate activation fee for a VoIP service, this is included in the analysis. Wherever possible, activation fees are analysed on the assumption that the customer already owns a modem (in other words, “BYO modem” services are preferred, where this could be determined from the price sheet).
The greatest surprise of this analysis, by the way, is that the best value is mostly not among the most expensive plans.
 
Judging value
 
Value is a very personal thing – a “value judgement”, if you will. For some people, the cheapest plan is the cheapest plan, and that’s all they care about.
But the “value” of the plan can also be viewed relative to the price of the data – for example, what’s the effective price per Gigabyte of the data included in the plan?
The problem with measuring value solely on the per-GB price is that it will skew the “value” towards the more expensive plans – because the most expensive plans typically have much higher download allowances relative to their price.
To try and resolve these inconsistencies with the analysis, I’m going to present a variety of analyses, to allow users to pick out services that best match their own interests.
First, let’s sum up the market as a whole. The 25 providers analysed in this article offer 117 different Naked DSL plans. These are listed in Table 1.
There are three key “variables” taken into account in the analysis which follows:
  1. With or Without voice? – What are the plan costs with and without a provider-offered voice service? The reason I have focused on VoIP services offered by the provider is simply that if you obtain an independent VoIP service from a provider like Skype, it has no impact on your choice of provider or the cost of your Naked DSL service. Note also that because of the huge range of offerings, I have focused on the cheapest available in-house voice offering. Mostly, this takes the form of a free bundled voice (usually VoIP) service – but some providers charge extract for voice.
  2. Price bands – Table 2, below, shows the number of plans falling into different price bands. I have tried to select price bands that offer a reasonable split of plans.
  3. Download bands – Table 3, below, shows the breakdown of download allowances included in the analysed plans. As with price, I have tried to create a reasonable split between download bands.
 
Table 1 – Providers Analysed
1. Adam Internet
http://www.adam.com.au/
2. AlwaysOnline
http://www.alwaysonline.net.au/
3. Amcom
http://www.amnet.com.au/
4. Comcen / Spin Internet
http://www.spin.net.au/
5. Cyberone
http://www.cyberone.com.au/
6. Dodo
http://www.dodo.com.au/
7. Engin
http://www.engin.com.au/
8. EscapeNet
http://www.escapenet.com.au/
9. E-Vision
http://www.e-vision.com.au/
10. GoTalk
http://www.gotalk.com.au/
11. Highway1
http://www.highway1.com.au/
12. iiNet
http://www.iinet.net.au/
13. Infinite Networks
http://www.infinite.net.au/
14. Internode
http://www.internode.on.net/
15. Interwerks
http://www.interwerks.net.au/
16. iPrimus
http://www.iprimus.com.au/
17. ITG Internet
http://www.itginternet.net.au/
18. Netspace
http://www.netspace.net.au/
19. Optus
http://www.optus.com.au/
20. OzISP
http://www.ozisp.com.au/
21. Rabbit Internet
http://www.rabbit.com.au/
22. Supernerd
http://www.supernerd.com.au/
23. TPG
http://www.tpg.com.au/
24. Vintek
http://www.vintek.net/
25. Widelinx
http://www.widelinx.com.au/
 
Table 2 – Plan Prices
Monthly subscription price
Number of Plans
Up to and including $60 per month
36
Number of plans over $60 and up to $90 per month
40
Number of plans over $90 per month
41
 
Table 3 – Download Limits
Monthly download limit (peak plus off-peak, GB per month)
Number of Plans
Up to and including 30 GB per month
44
Over 30 GB per month, up to 90 GB per month
36
Over 90 GB per month
37
 
A small number of plans (two from Optus and one from T&B Internet) were excluded because they are described as offering unlimited off-peak downloads. This made it impossible to compare “effective price per gigabyte” with other plans.
 
Naked DSL with VoIP
 
Price Band
Description
Provider
Monthly Subscription Price
Naked DSL Bundled with Voice
Includes all activation fees and voice / VoIP subscription fees
 
 
 
 
Price Per Month
No Contract
Price Per Month
12 Month Contract
Price per Month
24 Month Contract
Price per GB
No Contract
Price per GB
12 Month Contract
Price per GB
24 Month Contract'
Up to $60 per Month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Dodo - 2GB Naked DSL
 $39.99
 $55.72
 $50.72
 $44.89
 $27.86
 $25.36
 $22.45
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
Optus - 120G
 $61.95
 $-   
 $67.78
 $61.95
 $0.67
 $9.72
 $8.99
 
Highest Download Allowance in Price Range
Supernerd -
140GB Value
 $59.95
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $66.20
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $0.47
Over $60, up to $90 per Month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
E-Vision
Light 1 5 GB
 $61.95
 12 Month minimum
 $67.78
 $61.95
 12 Month minimum
 $9.72
 $8.99
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
ITG Internet
Naked DSL 200GB
 $65.45
 $94.45
 $94.45
 $94.45
 $0.47
 $0.47
 $0.47
 
Highest Download Allowance in Price Range
Supernerd - 300GB Night Owl
 $89.95
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $96.20
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $0.32
Over $90 per Month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
E-Vision
Medium 1
27GB
 $91.95
 12 Month minimum
 $97.78
 $91.95
 12 Month minimum
 $3.59
 $3.40
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
iPrimus
NakedDSL BigKahuna
300 GB
 $109.95
 $114.12
 $109.95
 No 24 month contract
 $0.38
 $0.37
 No 24 month contract
 
Highest Download Allowance in Price Range
iPrimus
NakedDSL BigKahuna
300 GB
 $109.95
 $114.12
 $109.95
 No 24 month contract
 $0.38
 $0.37
 No 24 month contract
 
 
Naked DSL – No VoIP
 
Price Band
Description
Provider
Monthly Subscription Price
Naked DSL
No voice service
Includes all activation fees
 
 
 
 
 
Price Per Month
No Contract
Price Per Month
12 Month Contract
Price per Month
24 Month Contract
Price per GB
No Contract
Price per GB
12 Month Contract
Price per GB
24 Month Contract'
Up to $60 per Month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Dodo - 2GB Naked DSL
 $39.99
 $50.82
 $45.82
 $39.99
 $25.41
 $22.91
 $20.00
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
Dodo
Naked DSL - 110GB
 $59.99
 $75.72
 $70.72
 $64.89
 $0.64
 $0.60
 $0.55
 
Highest Download Allowance in Price Range
Supernerd -
140GB Value
 $59.95
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $66.20
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $0.47
Over $60, up to $90 per Month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Interwerks -
NKA 75GB
 $60.00
 $65.75
 $65.75
 $62.88
 $0.94
 $0.94
 $0.90
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
ITG Internet
Naked DSL 200GB
 $65.45
 $94.45
 $94.45
 $94.45
 $0.33
 $0.33
 $0.32
 
Highest Download Allowance in Price Range
Supernerd - 300GB Night Owl
 $89.95
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $96.20
 24 Month min
 24 Month min
 $0.32
Over $90 per Month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
E-Vision
Medium 1
27GB
 $109.95
 12 Month minimum
 $97.78
 $91.95
 12 Month minimum
 $3.59
 $3.40
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
Vintek
Pewter 240 GB
 $159.95
 $180.65
 No 12 month contract
 $163.24
 $0.71
 No 12 month contract
 $0.68
 
Highest Download Allowance in Price Range
Vintek
Pewter 240 GB
 
 $159.95
 $180.65
 No 12 month contract
 $163.24
 $0.71
 No 12 month contract
 $0.68
 
 
Note: Internode has a 240GB service at the same monthly subscription price as Vintek, but with a higher activation fee.
 
Plans by Download Band – With VoIP
Price Band
Description
Provider
Monthly Subscription Price
Naked DSL Bundled with Voice
Includes all activation fees and voice / VoIP subscription fees
 
 
 
 
Price Per Month
No Contract
Price Per Month
12 Month Contract
Price per Month
24 Month Contract
Price per GB
No Contract
Price per GB
12 Month Contract
Price per GB
24 Month Contract'
Up to 30GB per month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Dodo - 2GB Naked DSL
 $39.99
 $66.48
 $62.32
 $54.03
 $66.48
 $62.32
 $54.03
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
Highway1 - Home3 30GB
 $99.00
 $122.83
 $118.25
 $104.50
 $1.75
 $1.69
 $1.49
Over 30GB, up to 90GB per month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
TPG Naked40 with VoIP
40GB
 $49.99
 6 or 18 Month Contracts
 $62.49
 $53.32
 6 or 18 Month Contracts
 $1.56
 $1.33
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
Highway1 - Home5 80GB
 $149.00
 $172.83
 $168.25
 $154.50
 $0.86
 $0.84
 $0.77
Over 90GB per month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Supernerd 140GB Value
 $59.95
 24 Month Only
 24 Month Only
 $66.20
 24 Month Only
 24 Month Only
 $0.47
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
iPrimus
NakedDSL BigKahuna
300 GB
 $119.95
 $142.40
 $-   
 No 24 month contract
 $0.38
 $0.37
 No 24 month contract
 
 
 
Plans by Download Band – No VoIP
Price Band
Description
Provider
Monthly Subscription Price
Naked DSL
No voice service
Includes all activation fees
 
 
 
 
 
Price Per Month
No Contract
Price Per Month
12 Month Contract
Price per Month
24 Month Contract
Price per GB
No Contract
Price per GB
12 Month Contract
Price per GB
24 Month Contract'
Up to 30 GB per month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Dodo - 2GB Naked DSL
 $39.99
 $50.82
 $45.82
 $39.99
 $61.53
 $57.37
 $53.20
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
Highway1 - Home3 30GB
 $99.00
 $122.83
 $118.25
 $104.50
 $1.68
 $1.61
 $1.41
Over 30GB, up to 90GB per month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Interwerks -
NKA 65GB
 $55.00
 $-   
 $73.20
 $-   
 $2.93
 $2.93
 $2.76
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
ITG Internet
Naked DSL 200GB
 $65.45
 $60.75
 $60.75
 $57.88
 $0.93
 $0.93
 $0.89
Over 90GB per month
Lowest price - by monthly Naked DSL Subscription
Dodo - 110GB Naked DSL
 $59.95
 $75.72
 $70.72
 $64.89
 $0.64
 $0.60
 $0.55
 
Lowest Price - by effective cost per GB
ITG Internet - Naked DSL 200GB
 $65.45
 $94.45
 $94.45
 $94.45
 $0.33
 $0.33
 $0.32
 
 

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